The Indie Game Magazine July 2015 | Issue 51 - Page 7

GAME WATCH Freemium, Schmeemium W ell, it’s been rumored for months and talked about by the player-base of WildStar almost as long as the game has been live. Finally Carbine has made it official; later this Fall, the skill-based MMO is going free-to-play, opening its doors to anyone and everyone who’s ever been curious about what sets this game apart in a world filled to the brim with new and upcoming free-to-play MMOs. by Nick Cescon What makes this type of gameplay so effective is that there is only a seemingly random chance of reward after the completion of each task. That randomness will usually keep players coming back month after month doing the same adventures, raids, dailies and battlegrounds. This type of model is extremely effective in World of Warcraft as well as in many instances of gambling. current announcement. While paid accounts will offer more character slots and costume slots, they’ve made no mention as to what will be available in the in-game store for player purchase. Other MMOs make use of these stores to offer new weapon skins, mounts, and costumes, and hopefully we’ll see this not-too-far down the line for the But to make the free-to-play model effec- residents of Nexus. tive, a few different things need to happen. Players need to feed off the Skinner box in All I’m saying is, offer me a Rowsdower mount both the paid and free setting, however the for $5 USD, and I think you will be able to paid setting needs to offer a worthwhile and make this game for at least a few more years, tempting benefit that does not affect the who’s with me? overall meta of the game. Players will not tolerate if paying for the F2P game offers such benefit that paid players have a distinct advantage (known as pay-to-win). At the same time, developers need to make payWe can look at past games that have either become or started with some form of the F2P ing money into the game enticing enough model that have been successful, and from to keep the model viable. that speculate as to how WildStar’s model Many free-to-play models utilize cosmetics is going to be received. and convenience this way in their game. In Currently, WildStar is very much like the both League of Legends and Guild Wars 2, Developer: Carbine Studios traditional MMO and relies on a “Skinner in-game stores offer players cosmetic upgrades and services such as name changes, Box” mentality where players continually do Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux the same or similar tasks with the expecta- additional character slots, dyes and additional Website: tion or hope of getting a reward. Doing daily character skins for real money. quests, leveling or running dungeons are part This is one part of Carbine’s free-to-play system Twitter: @WildStar of this system. that is sadly missing in their only and most 7